CRESSON - Nobody was quite sure who had the lead on the final holes of the 20th annual Summit Country Club Two-Man Better-Ball Amateur Championship Sunday, but, in the end, the tandem of Derek Hayes and Edward Maruca prevailed by one stroke over the rest of the championship flight field.
"There were a lot rumors swirling around," Hayes said. "We heard we were tied. We heard we were behind."
Thinking they were behind on 17, the duo played the hole more aggressively, trying for a birdie, but lost a stroke with a bogey.
"On 17, we tried to force birdie. When we got up to 18, we knew par would win it," Hayes said.
Hayes and Maruca, a Central Cambria High School graduate who golfs for St. Francis University, finished the two-day tournament with an 11-under par, one stroke better than the tandems of Quintin Dziabo and Brett Smith and David DeGol Jr. and Bernie DiLoretto.
Playing ahead of Hayes and Maruca, Dziabo and Smith lost a stroke on 17 as well with a bogey.
"We had two eagles in the round but missed a 3-footer at 17 for bogey, but that's golf. It comes down to a few putts here and there," Dziabo said.
Hayes and Maruca entered Sunday's play in the lead after shooting a 7-under 65 Saturday. Sunday's round didn't start out too well, but they finished strong to take the title.
"We made no putts on the front nine. We burned a lot of edges, but we were able to compose ourselves and play better on the back nine," Maruca said.
While Hayes and Maruca sat in the clubhouse championship in hand, two playoffs were needed to decide second through fifth place.
DeGol and DiLoretto birdied the final two holes to finish tied with Dziabo and Smith at 10-under 134. Artie Fink and Todd Homan rebounded from a first-round 71 to shoot 66 Sunday and finished tied for fourth with Steve DeStefano and Jay Pheasant, who did the exact opposite with a 66 Saturday and a 71 Sunday.
Dziabo and Smith eagled their playoff hole to take second place. After DeGol just missed a chip that would have given his team an eagle, Smith sank a 35-footer.
"I had the exact same putt in regulation, but I left it about 8 inches short," Smith said. "I was able to sink it the second time around. It's a good feeling."
Fink and Homan birdied their playoff hole to take fourth place. Fink-Homan, DeGol-DiLoretto and Dziabo-Smith all tied for the low round Sunday with 66.
Hayes and Maruca followed Saturday's 65 with a 68 Sunday.
"The course is in great condition," Hayes said. "The greens were firm, which isn't a bad thing. It's just something you have to adjust to. We bounced it up there and adjusted throughout the round."
Derek Hayes-Edward Maruca 65-68-133, Quintin Dziabo-Brett Smith 68-66-134, David DeGol Jr.-Bernie DiLoretto 68-66-134, Artie Fink-Todd Homan 71-66-137, Steve DeStefano-Jay Pheasant 66-71-137, Doug LaBarko-Jesse Rager 67-73-140, Wally Clapper-Ken Love 73-67-140, Chris Perry-Mike Macionsky 71-69-140, John Zack-Frank Frontino 71-7-141, Dave Murgas-Steve Wilke 68-74-142, Ken Fisher-Ben DelBaggio III 73-72-145, Tracey Smith-Daryl Booher 71-74-145, Ron Hinish-Garth Honsacker 73-73-146, Brady Smith-Ian Mitchell 76-72-148.
*Dziabo-Smith eagled playoff hole to finish second.
*Fink-Homan birdied playoff hole to finish fourth.
Brent Krug-PJ Shell 67-69-136, Calvin Mentzer-Lance Hollenshead 70-69-139, Wed Elder-Lee Elder 69-71-140.
Harvey Wargo-Rick Rezk 71-73-144, Warren Rhyner-Rick Lee 75-70-145, Brandon Stephens-Steve Dupirack 75-71-146.
Terry Funcheon-Francis Pirozzola 73-76-149, Jim Pequignot-Gary Burkholder 77-72-149, Jacob Henneman-Steve Trexler 79-72-151.
Michael Farrell-Randy Jarrett 73-77-150, Paul Propcheck-Dr. Jack Sahlaney 78-77-155, Jack Shaffer-Mike Funicelli 79-76-155.
Tim Wess-Robert Wess 78-78-156, Ken Carney-Bob Whiteman 78-79-157, Dan Green Sr.-Doug Coffman 80-77-157.